Adolescent Girls in Uganda
Girls living in Uganda face a number of challenges that can have a significant
impact on their well-being, development, and future. Girls attending school
often face gender bias and discrimination in both the curriculum and
from teachers, and schools often fail to provide them with a safe learning
environment. Girls in Uganda are more likely to drop out of school, marry early,
and experience poverty than their male counterparts. These obstacles are
magnified for girls within Uganda’s growing refugee population.
What is Girl Up doing in Uganda?
Girl Up is supporting adolescent girls in Uganda by funding UN Refugee Agency
(UNHCR) programs which aim to ensure that displaced girls are enrolled in school
and have access to a quality education.
• Expanding Access to Education
Girl Up expands refugee girls’ access to education by providing them with
mandatory textbooks, school fee payments, and required school uniforms,
and by helping to build classrooms, washrooms, and recreational facilities in
schools with high refugee enrollment. These investments allow an increased
number of refugee girls to attend school.
• Improving Quality of Education
Schools in Uganda not only lack the necessary infrastructure, but there
exists a shortage of both teachers and teacher training. In Uganda, many
girls are forced to drop out of school due to poverty, early marriage, teenage
pregnancy, safety concerns, and lack of parental support. We also hire and
train new teachers, with a particular focus on recruiting female teachers and
administering gender-sensitivity training to counteract cultural expectations
that make it harder for girls to go to school.
• Raising Levels of Achievement Girl Up supports a number of local organizations aiming to improve girls’
performance in school and girls’ levels of literacy. These organizations
and after-school clubs encourage girls to remain in school, increase their
classroom involvement, and foster a love for reading.
About Uganda
• Uganda hosts upwards of
507,000 refugees and asylumseekers, the majority of whom are
from the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.
• 56% of Uganda’s population is
under the age of 18.
• 35% of girls drop out of school
because of early marriage.
• 27% of refugees living in Uganda
are girls under the age of 18.
The Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa that shares
borders with Kenya, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Rwanda and Tanzania. Uganda has a population of 38,319,241 people.
Uganda’s official language is English, but many Ugandan’s speak Luganda
or other local languages. Uganda currently has one of the youngest
and fastest growing populations in the world, with a median age of 15. (Source: CIA World Factbook)
Uganda claimed its independence from Britain in 1962. Today, Uganda is
relatively peaceful; however, massive numbers of refugees have flooded
into Uganda from neighboring countries including the DRC, South
Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. This influx has put
increased pressure on the government to provide land and resources for
this displaced population. This includes the government’s legal obligation
to grant refugee children access to primary education.
Sources: CIA World Factbook: Uganda (
Because adolescent girls in Uganda deserve to be educated, healthy, safe,
counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.
You see a girl. We see the future.